James P. Spaeth, MD
Program Chair

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the 14th Annual Meeting of the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society (CCAS) which is being held on Thursday, February 27th at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas!  This year’s meeting marks the fifteen-year anniversary of our society and the first time that the meeting has been held outside of the United States.  The Atlantis Resort is an internationally recognized holiday destination which provides a variety of activities for adults and children of all ages and the opportunity to escape the cold of winter! 

We are excited to offer an educational program which follows the successful format of previous years and includes a diverse faculty with individuals from the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Bahamas.  In addition, several sessions were developed in collaboration with members of the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Network (CCAN), an organization from the United Kingdom (UK), and the American Society of Extracorporeal Technology (AmSECT).

The morning will begin with four PBLD’s and two Roundtable Discussions (RTD).  The PBLD’s include a patient with Williams Syndrome, an adult patient for percutaneous pulmonary valve replacement, use of bivalirudin for procedural anticoagulation, and a patient with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy for posterior spinal fusion.  The RTD’s address the management of bleeding after neonatal cardiac repair and strategies for managing confrontation with a challenging surgeon or interventionalist.

The general meeting will begin with a session on innovation in ventricular assist device (VAD) management.  We are honored to have internationally recognized speakers in this field: Dr. Joseph Rossano from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. David Morales from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Dr. Claire Barker from the Freeman Hospital in the UK.  This session will focus on the management of heart failure with a VAD, surgical and anesthetic management considerations, and outcomes in this complex patient population.

Our second morning session is about the delivery of cardiac care for patients with congenital heart disease with a focus on systems of care in different regions of the world.  Our first speaker, Dr. Sarah Pasquali, a pediatric cardiologist integrally involved with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) database and quality improvement work, will speak about the landscape of congenital cardiac care and outcomes in the United States.  This will be followed by Dr. Alistair Cranston, a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist from the UK, who will speak to us about the history of congenital cardiac care in the UK and how patient outcomes have impacted their system for congenital cardiac care.  Our next lecture will be given by Dr. Paul Hickey, the Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at Boston Children’s Hospital, who will be this year’s Dolly D. Hansen award recipient.  For the final lecture of this session, we are honored to have Dr. Jerome Lightbourne, a pediatric cardiologist from the Bahamas, speak to us about congenital cardiac care in the Bahamas and Caribbean.

After lunch we will hear oral presentations of the five highest scoring abstracts.  This year we have chosen to increase the number of oral presentations and shorten the time for each presentation.  This will be followed by a session on pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).  This session will include lectures on practice variation in pediatric perfusion, CPB and acute kidney injury, and a pro-con debate on the use of modified ultrafiltration (MUF).

The meeting continues with the option of attending a session on training in congenital cardiac anesthesia followed by three PEDx talks versus attending one of the three outstanding workshops being offered this year.  This first option will include an update on advanced congenital cardiac anesthesia fellowship training in the United States and United Kingdom, followed by the PEDx talks about Public Reporting and U.S. News ratings, sedation for non-invasive cardiac imaging, and improving team performance by in-situ simulation of critical events.

The workshops this year include two from previous years as well as an exciting new workshop.  The first workshop, Ventricular Assist Device (VAD): Options, Decisions, and Management, will provide participants the opportunity to further enhance the knowledge gained from the morning VAD session.  The second workshop, Perioperative Management of Temporary Pacemakers, has received rave reviews each year it has been offered.  We are excited to offer a new workshop this year on wellness and stress management, a topic very relevant to anesthesiologists and all health care providers.

The academic portion of the meeting will conclude with the Professor Poster Rounds.  This will provide us the opportunity to hear about new research and allow for informal discussion about the care of children with congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease and adults with congenital heart disease.  This is always a great opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends.  Following the poster session there will be a special reception to commemorate the 15-year anniversary of CCAS.

Our program this year has been designed to provide a strong educational experience for providers at all levels and practice experiences.  We have sought to address a variety of topics of scientific and clinical relevance to the care of both children and adults and hope that this meeting will enhance your knowledge base and stimulate discussion and collaboration among attendees.

The development of this program has been a team effort and I would like thank my co-chairs, Susan Nicolson and Greg Latham, for their ideas, guidance and feedback.  I would also like to thank Kirsten Odegard, Wanda Miller-Hance, Mark Twite, Luis Zabala, Viviane Nasr, and the CCAS Board of Directors for their helpful insight and support.  Finally, a huge thank you to Kim Battle and the Ruggles management group for all of their assistance throughout this process.

We look forward to seeing everyone in the Bahamas!